A witty, absurdist satire of the last 500 years, Alexandra Petri’s US History is the fake textbook you never knew you needed!
As a columnist for the Washington Post, Alexandra Petri has watched in real time as those who didn’t learn from history have been forced to repeat it. And repeat it. And repeat it. If we repeat history one more time, we’re going to fail! Maybe it’s time for a new textbook.
Alexandra Petri’s US History contains a lost (invented!) history of America. (A history for people disappointed that the only president whose weird sex letters we have is Warren G. Harding.) Petri’s “historical fan fiction” draws on real events and completely absurd fabrications to create a laugh-out-loud, irreverent takedown of our nation’s complicated past.
On Petri’s deranged timeline, John and Abigail Adams try sexting, the March sisters from Little Women are sixty feet tall, and Susan Sontag goes to summer camp. Nearly eighty short, hilarious pieces span centuries of American history and culture. Ayn Rand rewrites The Little Engine That Could. Nikola Tesla’s friends stage an intervention when he falls in love with a pigeon. The characters from Sesame Street invade Normandy. And Mark Twain—who famously said reports of his death had been greatly exaggerated—offers a detailed account of his undeath, in which he becomes a zombie.
This side-splitting work of historical humor shows why Alexandra Petri has been hailed as a “genius,”* a “national treasure,”† and “one of the funniest writers alive”‡.
*Olivia Nuzzi, Katha Pollitt
†Julia Ioffe, Katy Tur, John Scalzi, Chuck Wendig, Jamil Smith, and Susan Hennessey